Not-So-Easy Access

Primland Resort in Meadows of Dan, Va.

By Christine Kerick

wners of mountaintop golf courses face a common dilemma: How do you get water to flow uphill? For the remote Primland Resort in Meadows of Dan, Va., the solution included a pipeline and four pump stations, built to meet the water needs of this vacation resort. But another problem quickly arose: Who could build a cost-effective structure at such an isolated location to house the pump stations?

A precast concrete building was the logical choice to meet the resort's unique needs, and officials at Smith-Carolina Corp. were able accommodate even this relatively inaccessible site.

Primland is a 14,000-acre resort for golfers, hunters, fly-fishing enthusiasts and anyone else who loves the great outdoors. The resort is set high in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains and includes The Highland Course, designed by internationally renowned golf architect Donald Steel. The majestic Pinnacles of Dan can be seen from eight holes, and the course takes advantage of numerous overlooks and scenic vistas.

Due to its remote location and rough terrain, installing the pump stations and their enclosure was a real challenge. The owner needed a structurally sound, secure, low-maintenance building, since maintenance crews would be challenged to service them. Because the area surrounding the resort included a private hunting preserve, the buildings needed to be bullet-resistant as well.

Additionally, the owner wanted the buildings to have a rough, woodsy appearance to blend in with the natural environment.

"Easi-Set precast concrete buildings are modular," explained Moffette Tharpe, managing director of Easi-Set Industries. "This is advantageous because they can then be customized efficiently."

John Sweigard, building sales representative at Smith-Carolina, began doing just that: customizing two Easi-Set precast concrete buildings to meet the unique needs of the Primland Resort.

The buildings had to be built around existing equipment, and the components would have to move over rough terrain to the site of the second pump station, which was located halfway up the mountain. Only a mountain access road, which crisscrossed the pipeline with tight turns, provided access to the site. Because of this, Smith-Carolina decided to build the precast concrete panels at its Reidsville, N.C., plant, then transport them individually to the site and assemble the building.

Sweigard also was able to provide an aesthetically pleasing building solution. "We were able to make a building that, when stained, resembled an old barn-board structure," Sweigard said. "It had the look of an old wooden building, but was made of precast concrete. It had the woodsy, remote look the owner wanted."

When planning and manufacturing were complete, the Smith-Carolina team delivered the buildings. Installation of the first pump station, located at the bottom of the mountain, went off without a hitch. However, installation of the second pump station would prove to be more difficult.

"The ability to handle the precast components without damaging them was a major concern of ours," Sweigard said. Because of this, a new, direct road to the site was developed.

However, the 40-degree slope still posed a challenge.

Installation took place over a two-day period. Using a double staging area, the team off-loaded panels using a crane located at the bottom of the mountain onto a truck. A bulldozer pulled a second crane up to the installation site, then pulled the truck carrying each precast concrete panel up the steep slope.

The building itself was assembled on the first day. The team returned on the second day to finalize the caulking and install a roof hatch. This would accommodate a wooden structural roof that would give the building an even more remote look.

"The ability to accommodate a planned future modification, in this case the wooden structural roof, demonstrates the versatility of these buildings," Sweigard said.

The precast buildings cost significantly less than comparable built-in-place construction and can be continuously relocated as requirements change.


Primland Resort:

Easi-Set Industries:

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